Monthly Archives: December 2013

Ships of the Fleet – Luna Class Flak Cruiser

The Luna class cruisers a class of six ships designed as dedicated escort/area defence vessels in response to Aellr missile and fighter developments in the 2050s.
Deimos Escort

Since the end of the Contact War there has been an ongoing debate regarding the role and usefulness of fighters in deep space operations. While there are those who have stated publicly that fighters are only good for fighting other fighters, Battle Fleet’s position has been existence of Aellr carriers and fighters is enough reason for them to be retained as a deep space component of the fleet.

While the development of fighter jump drives allowed carriers to launch from stand off range the Fleet wargames of 2052 indicated that while destroyers and gun cruisers were capable of defending against enemy starships, they proved less capable against enemy fighters. Only point defence guns were effective against such small targets and these weapon lacked sufficient in range for one starship to cover another. It was clear that a weapon system was needed that could effectively engage small targets at stand off range.
While Battle Fleet has generally favored multi-role warships it quickly became clear that a specialist design was required. To lay down the necessary level of fire, a significant number of the newly developed firing flakguns would have to be mounted. If the vessel size was to be kept with reason, this meant the class would need to be be dedicated escort ships. Since it was decided that two would be required for each of fleet’s carriers is was clear the vessel need to be of modest dimensions if eight (dropped to six with the cancellation of the third Yorktown class carrier) were to be afforded.
Luna Class Views 2
The biggest design challenge of of the Luna Class was to take the form of magazine space. Early in the project it had been decided that weight of fire would be more important than ammunition duration. With a total of sixteen quad flak gun mounts planned it was clear than in an extended encounter, ammunition would quickly become an issue. The only solution to this would be to either enlarge the hull or remove other systems. It was suggested that no plasma should be mounted, making the class pure flak ships. This was seen as a step too far – to produce a cruiser incapable of engaging other starships and four medium plasma cannons were seen sufficient to stand off enemy destroyers.
At the same time the designers were keen to try out a number of new ideas. The last of the Myth Class Cruisers were being completed and the Statesman Class were in the preliminary design stages, so the Fleet looked upon the smaller Luna’s as an opportunity to test these. The stepped hull, angled broadside passive arrays and radiator paneled embedded in the wings were all trialled, with mixed levels of success.  The effects of this experience can be seen the Statesman Class Heavy Cruisers.
The level of protection is relatively limited, with armour thicknesses and coverage inferior to even that of the River Class. Given that their intended role does not include battle line duties this was seen as acceptable. With lighter armour a lighter structure could be used and engines better suited to extended use over high end output still used and allowed for performance that match any human cruiser.
Deimos 2

The Luna Class entered service in 2059 and have seen service principally in the Second and Third Fleets, as well as escort missions to and from the colonies. While the class is expected to have a thirty year lifespan, a number of problems have emerged. The lightweight structure has experienced cracking and routine maintenance cycle have included reinforcement.

Deimos 1

Authors Notes

Readers might have guessed that in form and concept the Luna Class were heavily inspired by the Dido and Atlanta Class AA cruisers of World War Two . With multiple gun batteries the trick with this one was making sure turrets didn’t get in each others way.

Additional: I re-edited the images in December, I was never really happy with the wings so I decided to have another go.

Nameless War is available on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo and paperback.

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Filed under science fiction, Self Publishing, Ship design, Ships of the Fleet, starship

Short Story – Lucky Old Us

There was a metallic bang from inside the Mark IV tank Big Bess, followed by a stream of expletives that started in English and switched to Irish as the volume ratcheted up.
“Do you think he’s making progress in there?” Private Frank Plumer asked, rainwater dripped off his forage cap as he peered carefully over the edge of the trench.
“You want to go in there and ask?” Bill Carney replied
“Think I’m safer out here mate.” Just as he spoke a bullet whistled past and pinged off the Big Bess’s left hand sponson. “Although not by a lot,” he added.
Bess, had broken down just as she was crossing Fitz’s support line. The two six pounders were still manned and covering the trench, the rest of them unshipped the Lewis guns and piled out. Their engineer Pat Gleasure had been trying to Bess going. He’d been at it for over two hours already but going but the periodic outburst of swearing, wasn’t making much progress. Another bullet whizzed past and Bill responded with a burst from the Lewis Gun. About twenty five yards behind them, a portion of Fitz’s front line seemed to still have its original occupants; who rather unsportingly didn’t seem to be doing the right a proper thing and retreating.
“You know I thought we have a nice unspoken agreement. We left them alone, they left us alone-”
“At least until we get Beth going again,” Frank interrupted.
“True. But apparently that’s just too damn complicated for Fitz. I mean shouldn’t they be retreating anyway.”
“Why?” asked Frank.
“They’re behind our front line.”
“I thought we were behind theirs.”
“That’s nonsense If we’re here then we’ve pushed back the line,” said Bill. “This bit is ours now.”
Frank peered over the parapet, back over the muddy, cratered wasteland.
“Well lucky old us,” he said.



Edmond Barrett is a hobby writer, his longer works can be found:

The Nameless War, available on Kindle, Smashwords, Kobo and paperback.

The Landfall Campaign, available on Kindle, Kobo, Smashwords and paperback.

The Job Offer, available on Kindle Kobo and Smashwords

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Filed under Short Stories, Writing